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Country Blues => Country Blues Lyrics => Topic started by: Harry on December 29, 2019, 04:57:49 PM

Title: Cripple Clarence Lofton Lyrics
Post by: Harry on December 29, 2019, 04:57:49 PM
Cripple Clarence Lofton – Policy Blues

April 12, 1935 in Chicago.

Eagle & LeBlanc: "This may be his [Clarence Lofton's] brother Elbert [sic]."

Document Records; "A recording was made for Bluebird by what appeared to be a man named Adam Wilcox employing the pseudonym Albert Clemens. The title recorded was Policy Blues and aural evidence makes it almost certain that the performer was Clarence Lofton moonlighting under a double disguise and trying to mask his memorable piano style by playing in a key he seldom used."

Guitar player uncertain. According to Stephen Calt and John Miller (liner notes of "Uptown Blues, A Decade Of Guitar-Piano Duets  (1927-1937)" it's Big Bill Broonzy.
I'm hearing it in the key of F but according to Calt and Miller it's in E.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fL3W2rgrj80 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fL3W2rgrj80)


If I don't catch policy buy me a 45
If I don't catch policy buy me a hard shootin’ 45
I’m getting tired of you policy writers telling me a plenty 'f lie

Now looka here policy writer I play both night and day
You gets my money then you walk away
And if I don't catch policy I'm gonna lay you low
Cause I’m getting sick and tired of you taking my dough
If I don't catch policy kill every writer I see
I’m getting tired of you policy writers 3-6-9-in’ poor me

Now looka here son you better not be late
That gig's gonna come out in the interstate
So you'd better get down and get down right
That gig's gonna fall out tonight
If I don't catch policy kill every writer I see
I’m getting tired of you policy writers 3-6-9-in’ poor me

The next day she come around I could tell from her look
I had played those numbers in the wrong book
Now I plays policy both day and night
And none of those numbers ever come out right
If I don't catch policy kill every writer I see
I’m getting tired of you policy writers 3-6-9-in’ poor me

Now looka here policy writer you better walk slow
I'm getting tired of you knocking on my back door
I plays policy I ain’t gonna play no more
I'm getting tired of playing 4-11 and 44
If I don't catch policy kill every writer I see
Cause I’m getting tired of you policy writers 3-6-9-in’ poor me


Title: Re: Cripple Clarence Lofton Lyrics
Post by: Thomas8 on December 30, 2019, 05:27:11 AM
Might be pitched between E and F, but can guarantee lofton played it in F. They just didn't play in E back then especially on the piano.
Title: Re: Cripple Clarence Lofton Lyrics
Post by: Johnm on December 30, 2019, 06:18:04 AM
Hi all,
Broonzy, or whomever else it might be, is playing out of E position, standard tuning.  There's no way of knowing for sure how the piano was tuned, but if pianists say it was played in F, that seems fine.
All best,
Johnm
Title: Re: Cripple Clarence Lofton Lyrics
Post by: Harry on December 30, 2019, 03:15:48 PM
Yeah, Broonzy probably capoed on the 1st fret to play in F.
E is a awkward key for the piano. I learned it to some degree cause guitar players love it.
But I will never be as fluent in E than I would be in say C, G or F.

I you could help with the lyrics I would appreciated it. 
Title: Re: Cripple Clarence Lofton Lyrics
Post by: jtbrown on December 31, 2019, 09:45:50 AM
Harry,

I'm hearing "catch policy" rather than "get policy" throughout, and a quick Google search shows that's a usage that's attested in at least two published discussions of "playing policy." I hear the third line as you do, and I think it's probably "Daddy's" in the thirteenth line (though the way he pronounces it, it actually sounds a little more like "that is" to me.)

In the antepenultimate line, I hear something like "four 'leven and forty-four."

Todd Brown
Title: Re: Cripple Clarence Lofton Lyrics
Post by: Johnm on December 31, 2019, 09:47:22 AM
Hi Harry,
I'm hearing "If I don't CATCH policy" every time that line repeats in the song.  In the last verse, third line from the end, I think he sings, "I'm gettin' tired of playin' four-eleven-and forty-four".  Any other changes seem relatively minor.
All best,
Johnm
Title: Re: Cripple Clarence Lofton Lyrics
Post by: waxwing on December 31, 2019, 02:29:35 PM
I imagine we'll hear much more from catyron on this as I think she has published regarding Dream Books for Policy numbers. It is known that because many listeners would know certain numbers that corresponded to images from dreams, singers would use the numbers and the audience would know what they mean, or go look them up.

I found this page about Policy Pete's Dream Book (https://drstephenrobertson.com/digitalharlemblog/playing-the-numbers-the-book/resources/policy-petes-dream-book-1933/), on which several pages are displayed, and found 3-6-9 for two dream images, "evidence" and "short arm". There could be others, as not all pages are displayed. 4-1-1 comes up as "baggage", "groceries" and "pistol shot". There are only single digit numbers used in the book, so 4-11-44 doesn't compute.

I think Lofton is saying he is tired of being "short armed", i.e, not paid off, which would require reaching out. I think it should be transcribe "Iím getting tired of you policy writers 3-6-9-in' for me" which is also how it sounds to me.

Cat?

Wax
Title: Re: Cripple Clarence Lofton Lyrics
Post by: waxwing on December 31, 2019, 03:10:01 PM
Actually, further research brought up catyron's page about the very subject. She defines 4-11-44 (or "four-lebenty-fortyfour" as Lofton sings it) as meaning the policy game itself and other sources of fortune, and states, after long discussion of the combination, that 3-6-9 can mean "excrement".

https://www.luckymojo.com/auntsallys.html (https://www.luckymojo.com/auntsallys.html)

So, much as I liked Lofton saying he was tired of the policy writers "short arming" him I think he was probably saying they were "sh****ng" on him.

Thank you, catyron! I have visited your site many times and hope to make it to your store before I leave the Bay Area.

Wax
Title: Re: Cripple Clarence Lofton Lyrics
Post by: Stuart on December 31, 2019, 03:35:14 PM
There's a copy of Policy Pete's Dream Book on eBay:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/123855318013

And copies of Aunt Sally's Policy Players Dream Book as well.

The NYC Public library has copies of both in its holdings.

BTW: "Policy Pete" is Pete Quinn
Title: Re: Cripple Clarence Lofton Lyrics
Post by: jtbrown on December 31, 2019, 05:38:45 PM
I agree with Wax that Lofton is using 3-6-9 as a verb, and after listening again with headphones I'd propose one further revision to the lyrics Harry has posted: I think it's probably not "3-6-9 is for me," as Harry has transcribed it, or "3-6-9-in' for me" as Wax has suggested, but "I'm gettin' tired of you policy writers 3-6-9-in' poor me."

Wax, thanks for the link to Catyron's site Ė fascinating.

Todd
Title: Re: Cripple Clarence Lofton Lyrics
Post by: Harry on January 01, 2020, 06:58:45 AM
I think you got it Todd. Especially when listening to another version of "Policy Blues" that Lofton rerecorded a few years later (this time in the key of C).
I made the changes to the lyrics but I'm still not sure about everything. If anyone has a copy of Macleod's Yazoo and Document books where this song is probably transcribed let me know. I sure would like to read his take on this.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tBesqONBa_c (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tBesqONBa_c)
Title: Re: Cripple Clarence Lofton Lyrics
Post by: waxwing on January 01, 2020, 01:56:46 PM
Sure Harry, no problem.

Just want to point out that, particularly in the early days of Document, Johnny Parth was using any example that he could get a collector to send him a tape of, so the quality varied and we have much better examples today. For Lofton's "Policy Blues" Bob Macleod was transcribng from the CD L-1042, which was a reissue of the Yazoo 42 LP. Seems like Bob had a pretty good version to work from tho' as he has picked up a couple things we missed. Bob continually upgraded his files and was a regular poster on the WC Lyric board until very shortly befor his death, particularly in the massive Lemon Jefferson thread, as well as Tommy Johnson and others. "dingwall" was his logon if memory serves. Just wanted to pay my respects.

Interestingly, in the notes this is labelled as the 1943 version, but in the last volume, where Lofton's complete works are transcribed, the correct '43 version is given and it is indicated that this is the earlier version. My comments are in brackets[].

"Policy Blues"
Cripple Clarence Lofton
Transcribed by R.R Macleod

If I don't catch policy, buy me a forty-five.
If I don't catch policy, buy me a hard-shootiní forty-five.
Iím gettin' tired of you policy writers tellin' me a PLAINTIVE LIE.

Now LOOKY here policy writer, I play IT both night and day. [Lofton doesn't sing "it"]
You gets my money, then you walk away.
And if I don't catch policy, I'm gonna lay you low.
'Cause Iím gettin' sick and tired of you takin' my dough.
If I don't catch policy, kill every writer I see.
Iím gettin' tired of you policy writers three-six-nine-iní poor me.

Now LOOKY here son, you better not be late.
That GIG'S gonna come out in the Interstate.
So you'd better get down, and get down right.
THAT GIG'S gonna fall out tonight.
If I don't catch policy, kill every writer I see
Iím gettin' tired of you policy writers three-six-nine-iní poor me.

The next day she come around, I can tell from her look.
I had played those numbers in the wrong book.
Now I plays policy both day and night.
And none of those numbers ever come out right.
If I don't catch policy, kill every writer I see.
Iím gettin' tired of you policy writers three-six-nine-iní poor me.

Now LOOKY here policy writer YOU'D better walk slow. [I don't hear the "'d"]
I'm gettin' tired of you knockin' on my back door.
I plays policy, I ainít gonna play no more.
I'm gettin' tired of playing four'n'eleven-and-forty-four. [I'd make it "four'n'eleb'nty-forty-four"]
If I don't catch policy, kill every writer I see.
'Cause Iím gettin' tired of you policy writers three-six-nine-iní poor me.

I put some cans on and gave a close listen and I agree with Bob on "plaintive lie" and, for sure the first "That gig's" and probably the second. I don't hear the "it" or the 'd on "you'd, and the looky/looka is a toss up.

Wax
Title: Re: Cripple Clarence Lofton Lyrics
Post by: Johnm on January 01, 2020, 02:54:33 PM
Hi all,
I am extremely dubious of "plaintive lie".  I think he's singing "tellin' me a-PLENTY OF LIES", with "of" somewhat swallowed.
All best,
Johnm
Title: Re: Cripple Clarence Lofton Lyrics
Post by: waxwing on January 01, 2020, 04:37:59 PM
Well, Johnm, after having listened another dozen times, I can't see that you could hear a difference between the two ways of transcribing the sounds, except that it's pretty clear that there is no "s" at the end of "lie". But then, that's a common singer's rule not to end on a sibilance, just leave it off. I checked Michael Taft's Concordance and no one he has transcribed uses the word "plaintive", so tips it away from that direction. I wonder if there are other examples of Loften using the "a-this", or "a-that" instead of just saying "telling me plenty of lies"? (I remember you brilliantly parsing the "a-goin'", and "a-fishin'" in HT's "Fishin' Blues") He does make a big effort to get the "a" in there, almost like someone else may have written the line and instructed him how to say it? What does it all mean?

Wax
Title: Re: Cripple Clarence Lofton Lyrics
Post by: Johnm on January 01, 2020, 04:58:03 PM
Hi Wax,
Re-listening, I believe plenty is both preceded and followed by "of".  I think he is just saying that he has been lied to on many occasions, and he's tired of it.  There's no reason to impose a stricter standard of grammar and syntax in this one line ending than in the rest of the song.  I just don't believe that he sang the word "plaintive", and in any event, why in the world would policy writers be prone to "a plaintive lie"?  What's next, a lachrymose fib?  I think we're chewing more than we've bit off.
All best,
Johnm 
Title: Re: Cripple Clarence Lofton Lyrics
Post by: Harry on January 02, 2020, 06:58:10 AM
It's very hard to hear but I'm leaning towards "a plaintive lie". It's more clear on the second version.

Dictionary; Plaintive = sounding sad and mournful.  Example = "a plaintive cry"

I don't hear GIG's at all in the 3rd stanza.
Title: Re: Cripple Clarence Lofton Lyrics
Post by: jtbrown on January 02, 2020, 02:15:33 PM
I wonder if there are other examples of Loften using the "a-this", or "a-that" instead of just saying "telling me plenty of lies"? (I remember you brilliantly parsing the "a-goin'", and "a-fishin'" in HT's "Fishin' Blues")

Wax

This is not an example of "a-prefixing," as in "I'm a-goin' fishin'." Rather, Lofton is simply using the indefinite article before the noun "plenty," in a way that was once quite common and that I believe is still heard in some dialects in the southern United States. (It certainly was in the 1980s; I used to work for a farmer who said "a plenty of [uncountable or plural noun]" all the time.) It's not the sort of thing that makes it into print very often these days, but you can see some usage examples here:

https://www.google.com/search?q=%22a%20plenty%20of%22&tbm=bks&tbs=cdr:1,cd_min:1939,cd_max:2000&lr=lang_en

To me, it seems perfectly natural that Lofton would complain of policy writers telling him "a plenty of lies," and I share John's skepticism that Lofton (or anyone) would use the phrase "a plaintive lie."

Todd

Title: Re: Cripple Clarence Lofton Lyrics
Post by: Stuart on January 02, 2020, 05:18:49 PM
I listened to both versions with the headphones several times and I think I hear "all' for "a" in one version--But I admit that could be wrong. "Lies" doesn't exactly rhyme with "five" in the previous line, but exact rhymes have never been a requirement. Are there any words that fit that rhyme with "five?" I'm not hearing "plaintive." I'm not ruling it out, but I just don't hear it.

I don't think it's a flub, because I doubt he would have flubbed the same words in both versions. I think it may be a word or words other than plenty or plaintive. I guess if I was writing the lyrics, I might choose "all baldfaced" or "all the same" lies, but I don't hear either of those, obviously.

Since we hear a word that begins with "p," it might be another word(s) that sound close. Bob had plaintive, but maybe it's "plain-" followed by another syllable or word. I wish I knew the answer.
Title: Re: Cripple Clarence Lofton Lyrics
Post by: waxwing on January 02, 2020, 07:59:22 PM
I have to ask, what "lies" are they telling him? They can't lie that he lost, because when the policy number comes out, everyone in Chicago knows what it is. Maybe they tell him he'll win the next time, but he'd really be pathetic if he called that a lie. I think the only lie they could be telling him is that they feel sorry that he lost. Which, I would have to say, is a plaintive lie. I could imagine he might say they are telling him the same lie every time, as Stuart suggests, but there just aren't plenty of lies to tell. "You lost" is not a lie, "You'll win" is hardly a lie, and would be the same lie, not plenty of lies. But "Gee, Crip, so sorry you lost again." is the only lie I can imagine he is talking about, and, it's plaintive.

Lofton was born in a relatively large city in Tennessee and quickly went to Chicago. He was a very complex, sophisticated performer, not some hick. I can imagine he was a very intelligent person also, as in this song he seems to be humorously portraying a somewhat pathetic character, not himself. I don't see why he wouldn't use the word "plaintive", and I'd actually be more surprised to hear him say "a plenty". Policy is a city game, doesn't happen in the country. You know, some black people did get an education, whether formal or not.

As I said, I could hear "a plenty'f lie'" in the early version, as Johnm parsed it. At least I felt it was indistinguishable. But as Harry points out, he couldn't really be garbling it up to come out so clearly "plaintive lie" in the second version.

Wax
Title: Re: Cripple Clarence Lofton Lyrics
Post by: Stuart on January 02, 2020, 09:46:01 PM
I agree, Wax--in the sense that I've never been one to place limitations on another person's vocabulary based on my own preconceived notions of what I think their vocabulary should or should not contain. Who am I to say?

But as to these particular words in the lyrics, I simply do not know. This is a tough one, so I'm going to leave it to those better qualified than myself.

Title: Re: Cripple Clarence Lofton Lyrics
Post by: jtbrown on January 03, 2020, 11:33:19 AM
Waxwing and Stuart,

To be clear, NOWHERE in my post did I imply that Lofton wouldn't have known the word "plaintive," or that he wouldn't have used it in some context in which it made sense. My point, rather, is that the use of "plaintive" to modify "lie" is, to me, both unidiomatic and illogical. In the varieties of English with which I am familiar, all sorts of things can be "plaintive," but "lies" are not among them. That's why I wrote that I'm skeptical "that Lofton (or anyone) would use the phrase 'a plaintive lie.'" (And yes, this includes the fanciful scenario Wax has sketched out, which stretches the meaning of "plaintive" well beyond the breaking point.)

I really don't think I can adequately convey how annoyed I am that both of you have seen fit to imply that I was casting aspersions on Lofton's intelligence or vocabulary. I'll do you the favor of assuming this was the result of carelessness rather than willful misrepresentation of what I wrote, but I'll ask that in return you do me the favor of reading anything I may post in the future much more attentively.

As to what the policy writers are lying about, it seems clear that Lofton (or rather the character he's impersonating in his song) is convinced that the game is fixed and he is being unfairly denied his payout. Presumably, he believes that 1) whenever his number comes up, the policy writers lie and tell him it didn't; or 2) his number keeps failing to come up because the game is fixed, but the policy writers keep lying and telling him it's clean. (Note that he specifically refers to Interstate, a wheel-based version of policy that would have been open to charges of fraud.)

Todd
Title: Re: Cripple Clarence Lofton Lyrics
Post by: Stuart on January 03, 2020, 02:19:48 PM
Hi Todd:

I wasn't implying that you or anyone else thought that Lofton's or anybody's vocabulary was in someway limited, just that I am conscious not to let my own preconceived notions rule anything out. Song lyrics are such an extremely small sample of an individual's vocabulary and usage that there have been times when this has predisposed me to think that something seemed out of place, when in fact it wasn't. 

Like I wrote, I'm not hearing "plaintive."

Quite honestly, you didn't even cross my mind when I wrote my short note about my own experiences. My sincere apologies for any misunderstanding or confusion.

Stuart
Title: Re: Cripple Clarence Lofton Lyrics
Post by: catyron on January 04, 2020, 07:40:06 PM
Here are the things i hear:

V3, L2: *That gig's* gonna come out in the Intersate

V3, L4: *That gig's* gonna fall out tonight

V4, L1: The next day she come around, I *could* tell from her look
[the past tense is discernible to me and it also makes grammatical sense).

And i hear *looky here* for "looka here" every time.

He's tired of playing 4-11-44 -- the washerwoman's gig -- because it is such old hat. See the Wikipedia entry on Four Eleven Forty Four for abundant 19th century data.

More details on decoding songs about Policy here:

http://luckymojo.com/auntsallys.html

And, of course, it is "a plenty of lies." The term "a plenty of" is common in old-timey rural midwestern and southern speech (both black and white) and has been all my life. It is a shortened form of "a plenitude of." It is so common, in fact, that the Grammar Police are trying to eradicate it as Forbidden Plebian Dialect:

https://www.quora.com/Which-one-is-correct-there-is-a-plenty-of-or-there-are-a-plenty-of

I hope that helps...

Title: Re: Cripple Clarence Lofton Lyrics
Post by: jtbrown on January 06, 2020, 09:24:24 AM
Stuart, thanks very much for the clarification, and I'm sorry to have misunderstood you.

Todd
Title: Re: Cripple Clarence Lofton Lyrics
Post by: Stuart on January 06, 2020, 12:26:57 PM
Here are the things i hear:...

And, of course, it is "a plenty of lies." The term "a plenty of" is common in old-timey rural midwestern and southern speech (both black and white) and has been all my life. It is a shortened form of "a plenitude of." It is so common, in fact, that the Grammar Police are trying to eradicate it as Forbidden Plebian Dialect:

https://www.quora.com/Which-one-is-correct-there-is-a-plenty-of-or-there-are-a-plenty-of

I hope that helps...

It does help, Cat. Thank you. There's an entire field devoted to the study of descriptive vs. prescriptive grammar. While prescriptive grammar is usually based on an agreed upon standard of word usage and word order according to how "formally" educated people speak or write (writing being the external representation and record of speech) in a, let's say, more formal setting, descriptive grammar describes a wider range of what people say and how they talk in many different social contexts and settings. What is fascinating is that people who "stray" from formal, prescriptively correct words and their usage have absolutely no trouble communicating their thoughts, ideas and emotions to one another.

There's a plenty of kinds of oppression enough in this world, so we sure don't need no lexical oppression. --Not in the lyrics of Country Blues songs, anyway.

But as our teachers always reminded us, in certain contexts it's best to try to use the right words in the proper word order.

Overeducatedly Yours,
 
Stuart
Title: Re: Cripple Clarence Lofton Lyrics
Post by: Harry on January 06, 2020, 04:16:15 PM
Well since the overall opinion goes with "a plenty 'f lie" I'll stick with that. Maybe it's just Lofton's speech/dialect that made it sound like "plaintive" to some ears.
I guess it's finished now (I ain't gonna change looky for looka). Thanks for your help.
Title: Re: Cripple Clarence Lofton Lyrics
Post by: Harry on August 26, 2020, 03:10:27 PM
Cripple Clarence Lofton - Streamline Train

Pitched in B but I think Lofton played it in C. Red Nelson may have been the writer of the song.

Red Nelson (Nelson Wilborn) - Vocals
Cripple Clarence Lofton - Piano

Recorded in Chicago, IL. February 4, 1936


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-NYv2ooiu_A


Streamline train fastest train that run
Hot water springs ainít goní help you none
Iím gonna leave in the morning baby on that streamline train
Only thing I can say mama get your mind offa this thing

Women in Chicago got like a dollar bill
Ainít fit for nothing get somebody killed
Gonna leave in the morning baby on that streamline train
Only thing I can say mama get your mind offa this man

Going to the union station act just like a child
Ask the call boy mama what train do I ride
Iím gonna leave in the morning baby on that streamline train
Only thing I can say mama get your mind offa this thing

Going out west 'mongst these robbers sleep 'mongst howlin' hounds
My woman sheís so evil always wanna break down
Iím gonna leave in the morning baby on that streamline train
Only thing I can say mama get your mind offa this thing

Sweet mama told me my daddy stood and cried
Some of these low down women goní be the death of my child
Iím gonna leave in the morning baby on that streamline train
Only thing I can say get your mind offa this man

Thereís a cruel old fireman mean old engineer
Thatís the onliest way I can leave you here
Iím gonna leave in the morning baby on that streamline train
Only thing I can say get your mind offa this thing




Cripple Clarence Lofton - Streamline Train

Key of C

Cripple Clarence Lofton - Vocals ?, Piano
1939 in Chicago, IL  ?


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nz0eM4Wxsig (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nz0eM4Wxsig)


Streamline train fast train that run
That fast train took my baby to ruin
Yes I'm leaving you in the morning leaving on that streamline train
Only thing I can tell you get your mind offa that thing

Train blowed for New York half past four
Five o'clock that morning I was banging on my babyís door
She says come in loving daddy where have you done been so long
I ain't had my great loving since my streamline been gone

Train blowed to Birmingham half past six
Half five that morning I try to get it fixed
She says come in loving daddy where have you done have been so long
I ain't had my great loving since my streamline been gone

I'm going out west tomorow I'm gonna marry a indian squaw
Say one of them indian chiefs be my father-in-law
Baby I'm leaving you in the morning leaving on that streamline train
Only thing I can tell you get your mind offa that man


Title: Re: Cripple Clarence Lofton Lyrics
Post by: banjochris on August 26, 2020, 04:51:30 PM
1936 version

2.1 I hear "got" also

3.2 Ask the CALL boy, mama

4.1 Going out west 'MONGST [THESE] ROBBERS, sleep 'MONGST HOWLIN' HOUNDS

Not sure about "these"
Chris
Title: Re: Cripple Clarence Lofton Lyrics
Post by: banjochris on August 26, 2020, 04:57:46 PM
1939 version

1.2 took my baby TO RUIN

2.2 FIVE o'clock and I hear "thinking" also

Add (SPOKEN: In Chicago, mama, in Chicago, in Chicago) between 2.3 and 2.4

3.1 Train BLOWED

SPOKEN: In Chicago, baby, in Chicago.

4.2 SAY ONE OF them...

Chris
Title: Re: Cripple Clarence Lofton Lyrics
Post by: waxwing on August 26, 2020, 05:01:00 PM
I think 4.1 ends with "'mongst howlin' OWLS" but you can probably hear an "nd" sound in there with head phones.

Wax
Title: Re: Cripple Clarence Lofton Lyrics
Post by: Thomas8 on August 27, 2020, 05:31:25 AM
2.2 BANGING on my baby's door
Title: Re: Cripple Clarence Lofton Lyrics
Post by: Harry on August 27, 2020, 06:05:05 AM
Thanks Chris, Wax and Thomas.

It's really hard to hear if it's howlin' hounds or howlin' owls. I'll stick with howlin' hounds for now.
Title: Re: Cripple Clarence Lofton Lyrics
Post by: banjochris on August 27, 2020, 11:03:24 AM
On hounds vs. owls, it's less the ending and more that I can hear a voiced "h" at the beginning of that word.
Chris
Title: Re: Cripple Clarence Lofton Lyrics
Post by: Harry on October 09, 2020, 08:13:30 AM
When The Soldiers Get Their Bonus

Red Nelson - Vocals
Cripple Clarence Lofton - Piano
Al Miller - Vocals (2), Guitar
Unknown - Bass

February 6, 1936
Chicago, Illinois

Probably Key of C


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jyklwltTsI0 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jyklwltTsI0)


Itís good morning mama you look mighty swell now you say you got somethiní to sell
Weíll have a nice time (when the soldiers get their bonus)
Weíll have a nice time (when the soldiers get their bonus)
Weíll have a nice time even if it donít last long

Iíve got some liquor got some wine we can get drunk have a whompin' good time
Weíll have a nice time (when the soldiers get their bonus)
Weíll have a nice time (when the soldiers get their bonus)
Weíll have a nice time even if it donít last long

I had two dollars I donít know where it went show me what you got there fifty cents
Weíll have a nice time (when the soldiers get their bonus)
Weíll have a nice time (when the soldiers get their bonus)
Weíll have a nice time even if it donít last long

My galís got a heart big as a whale shake up her body she just wonít move her tail
Weíll have a nice time (she wonít get no bonus)
Weíll have a nice time (she wonít get no bonus)
Weíll have a nice time even if it donít last long

I plays a little coon can shoots a little dice sometimes fool with a old man's wife
Weíll have a nice time (when the soldiers get their bonus)
Weíll have a nice time (when the soldiers get their bonus)
Weíll have a nice time even if it donít last long

Grandpa told grandma last year we got too old for to shift your gear
Weíll have a nice time (when the soldiers get their bonus)
Weíll have a nice time (when the soldiers get their bonus)
Weíll have a nice time even if it donít last long

My black galís head wonít be so hard even her good man wonít have me barred
Weíll have a nice time (when the soldiers get their bonus)
Weíll have a nice time (when the soldiers get their bonus)
Weíll have a nice time even if it donít last long
Title: Re: Cripple Clarence Lofton Lyrics
Post by: Johnm on October 09, 2020, 10:22:09 AM
Hi Harry,
That's a rocking tune! I think I'm hearing some of the missing spots and would change some of the other places. Here goes:

1.1 It's "Good morning, mama, YOU look mighty swell. Now you say you got somethin' to sell
2.1 . . . a WHOMPIN' good time
3.1 "Show me what you got THERE." "Fifty cents".
4.1 Shake up her BUTT, . . .
5.1 I plays a little COON CAN, . . ., sometimes fool with A old MAN'S wife
6.1 . . . we got TOO old for to SHIFT YOUR GEARS
7.1 even HER good man won't have me barred

Coon can is a gambling game mentioned in several songs, as is the phrase "too old to shift your gears". 3.1 is two different people talking--the first had two dollars taken from him, and he's trying to determine if the second person took it. The second person says he just has fifty cents, in other words, not the missing two dollars. Weird vowel sound on "butt", but it's the only thing that makes sense there.

All best,
Johnm
Title: Re: Cripple Clarence Lofton Lyrics
Post by: Harry on October 09, 2020, 11:36:00 AM
Thanks John, I took them all except "gears". I hear "gear".
I had "butt" and "there" orginally. I realize more and more you gotta go with what makes sense.
Title: Re: Cripple Clarence Lofton Lyrics
Post by: banjochris on October 12, 2020, 09:46:46 AM
I think it's "body" in 4.1, not "butt" Ė pronounced with the ending swallowed some. I've never heard "butt" used  (in this context as opposed to a cigarette butt) on a 78 of this vintage, I think it would have been a no-no. Fun tune!

PS Harry, I think there are a couple of vestigial words from the editing process still in there at 5.1 and 6.1 (cat and the).

Chris
Title: Re: Cripple Clarence Lofton Lyrics
Post by: Harry on October 12, 2020, 02:04:38 PM
Thanks Chris. Yes it's "body" and I think I was in a rush when I did the editing. Everything is corrected now.
I see John already has the accurate transcription (with "body") up in weeniepedia.

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